Between Dictatorship and Lawlessness 11:09, 19/04/2002, “Eurasia Today”
Last spring the communist party came to power in Moldova. Its representatives won the majority – 70 seats – in the parliament, while the party boss Vladimir Voronin became a president. The year, during which they’ve being staying in power, allows to predict further situation development in Moldova. Since the moment of his coming to power Vladimir Voronin had numerously tried to make clear his sympathy toward the so-called “Belarusian variant”.
The man meant the level of economic and political closeness between Belarus and Russia. The communist leadership of Moldova, which is facing the permanent danger of energy and economic crisis, considered attractive the scheme: “powerful Russia + younger brother = economic welfare”. The idea of close friendly links between Moldova, Russia and Belarus has always found support with the left-wing electorate – poor population strata, convinced that thanks to the “proper” relations between Minsk and Moscow, Belarus has almost no social or economic problems.
At times it even produces an illusion as if Voronin managed to oust Alexander Lukashenko from his place next to the Kremlin. However, at first it seemed as though the Moldova authorities would choose only one element of the Belarusian model – maximum orientation at Russia and the ensuing economic policy. Almost complete absence for over a year of a fruitful relations with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the World Bank are another peculiar feature of the Belarusian economic model.
Opposition itself wasn’t hundred percent sure that Vladimir Voronin would follow in Lukashenko’s footsteps and use his repressive apparatus. However, the ruling communist party couldn’t avoid the means, which inevitably come after the populist steps in economy and are typical for the Belarusian reality as well: limitation of the freedom of press, violation of other fundamental freedoms, arrests and disappearance of politicians in opposition. Active staff reshuffles in the security services brass are also in the spotlight of public attention. Rise in their salaries also testifies to the fact that the government is readying to use force to stop the internal dissent.
Over a year of the communists’ rule the country got blacklisted as a European rogue state, second only to Belarus. The current domestic political situation in Moldova only evokes pessimism. Unavoidable deterioration of economic problems may lead to the growth of protest moods among the populace. In this case Vladimir Voronin will have only two alternatives left to him: either to annihilate opposition and install total dictatorship or file in resignation.